My Vegan Thanksgiving Recipes with Menu Plan & Tips!

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Hiya Cooks,

It’s official. The holidays are here. And if you haven’t already, it’s a good time to start menu planning. This year both my family and Brian’s family are coming to Woodstock for Thanksgiving. Woot! That’s a whole lotta folks, food, and folly. However, since I’m the only plant-pusher I better serve some kick ass cuisine or I’ll have a revolt on my hands.

So I contacted a couple of my favorite chefs to help me pull together a manageable, but still show-stopping list of healthy recipes. They also gave me some tips for saving time (and sanity) in the kitchen. Here’s the featured lineup: Joy Pierson’s Vegan Holiday Cooking, Chloe Coscarelli’s Vegan Italian Kitchen and Crazy Sexy Kitchen (available now in paperback!).

And of course I’m giving these cookbooks away to 5 lucky winners! (Update: This giveaway is now closed.)

FeaturedThanksgivingRecipes-Montage

My Thanksgiving Menu Suggestions and Tips

Here are some fantastic ideas to consider as you’re planning your holiday gathering. Get everything you need by signing up above: The menu, the recipes, boom. Take what you love, leave the rest (but I bet you’ll be drooling over them all!).

And if you want to cook along with me this month, post pics of your holiday recipes with #crazysexycooks on Instagram or Twitter. I’ll be featuring my favorite snapshots in upcoming newsletters.

Here’s what you’ll find inside:

CrazySexyThanksgivingMenu

Holiday Cooking Tips

Joy Pierson’s Tip: Get everyone involved

Plant-based holidays are all about compassionate indulgence, but they still take planning and coordination. One of the things that make it possible to pull off a giant cruelty-free Thanksgiving at our house is including everyone in the preparations. I like to invite the whole family to be involved—not just to the table but in the kitchen too. Here’s how we make it happen:

  • Menu planning starts 2-3 weeks ahead of time. Once it’s complete, I send it to everyone to get them excited and hopefully inspire some offers to help.
  • With everyone chipping in, including the young ones, we all get as much prepped in advance as possible. The whole team knows to cook as much as they can at home and then bring their almost-done dishes to the big celebration.
  • The fun starts and ends in the kitchen. Putting the final touches on our meal as a team adds so much fun and satisfaction to the holiday. Our time at the table is the vegan gravy on top!

Chloe Coscarelli’s Tip: It’s all about food prep!

Do AS MUCH AS YOU POSSIBLY CAN ahead of time. You should just be reheating and assembling on the day of (there’s no reason to be chopping onions as your guests arrive). Here’s how to prep my recipes ahead of time and save yourself a ton of work on the big day.

  • Golden Gravy: Golden Gravy can be made three days in advance and refrigerated. Reheat before serving.
  • Parmesan Roasted Asparagus: Parmesan topping can be made 5 days in advance and refrigerated. Asparagus can be made the day before. Reheat in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Roasting vegetables brings out the natural sugars in veggies which makes them buttery soft with nice crispy edges. Turn often to make sure all sides become crisp. Top with room temperature Parmesan topping before serving.
  • Italian Meatloaf: Can be made two days before your meal. Cover tightly with foil and refrigerate. Bake the day of.
  • Chocolate Cherry Coffee Cake: Cake batter and streusel topping can be assembled in the pan, covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. Bake fresh the next day.

Kris Carr’s Tip: Plan for the big day & beyond

Now that we’ve covered prep work and recruiting extra hands in the kitchen, it’s time to put these strategies into action. It may sound simple, but you’ve gotta write it all down and think ahead. Here’s what I recommend:

  • Once you’ve locked your menu, make a shopping list. Showing up at the store with recipes and cookbooks in hand and no plan is a waste of your time. Take a moment to pull out your recipes, determine what you already have in your kitchen and make a list of every ingredient you’ll need. It’ll make your trip to the store a breeze.
  • Whip out your calendar and schedule everything. Whether it’s your Filofax or Google Calendar, you’ve gotta schedule time for your shopping, meal prep and cooking time. Otherwise, other holiday and life activities are going to get in the way, leaving you one stressed out señorita (or señor) on Thanksgiving Day.
  • Plan for leftovers from the beginning. Are you really going to feel like cooking in the days following your feast? I know I won’t and I’ll also have many mouths to feed. That means I’ll be doubling some of the recipes so that sandwiches, soups and salads are easy-peasy during the long weekend. When you’re menu planning and making your shopping list, keep leftovers in mind so that you don’t have to make an extra trip to the store. Less cooking and dishes means more time to relax. Ahhhhh.

I hope these tips and recipes take some tension off your plate, add some delicious food to your holiday, and give you more time to take care of yourself this month.

Now it’s your turn: Add your holiday cooking tip or favorite recipe in the comments below!
Peace & pumpkin pie,

Kris Carr

P.S. Want some cooking tips for the big day?

Get instant access to my Crazy Sexy Cooking Classes, where Chef Chad Sarno and I teach you all our favorite tips and tricks to cooking up a plant-empowered storm!